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A new micro-mechanical testing unit at CEMES

The Femtotools nanomechanical machine can deform small structures with displacements as precise as 50 pm and down to 500 pN force resolution.

The FT-NMT04 (that’s its nickname*) from the Swiss company Femtotools is a versatile micromechanical testing unit that can perform a variety of mechanical tests : nano-indentation, pillar compression, wire stretching and beam bending (as in the picture below).

It has been acquired by the PPM group with the help of ICA Albi (D. Texier) and will serve as the main testing tool for on-going and starting studies about the mechanical properties of metals and alloys at small scale. It can also test specific microstructural feature such as a grain boundary or an interface once isolated in the Helios SEM/FIB of the lab.

The machine can be used as a standalone unit or inside the FIB, allowing to observe the deformation unravelling under your astonished eyes.

Left : Femtbob (FT-NMT04) on the FIB goniometer. Right : A steel, FIB-made micro beam (15 µm long) and a similar beam being bent using the nanoindenter. Note the grain boundary opening on the left


Contact : Marc Legros, marc.legros [at] cemes.fr


*although the nickname generator (https://www.name-generator.org.uk/nickname/) suggested "Small Muffin" and "Femtbob"